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Sergei Rachmaninoff

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Piano Concerto No. 2 in c-minor, op 18

The 1996 Oscar-winning movie Shine introduced the public to "Rach 3" and made it part of our popular culture.  But long before the film made the third concerto, it was Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto, completed in 1901, that won the appeal of audiences and established Rachmaninoff as a concerto composer.  For several years, Rachmaninoff had been unable to compose. He was overwhelmed by doubt, depression and he had difficulty applying himself to his craft. It was Dr. Nikolai Dahl, an amateur musician himself, who began working with Rachmaninoff, taking him through sessions of hypnosis and discussions about music, that eventually brought him through this rough period.  The premiere of his Second, with the composer at the piano, was dedicated to Dr. Dahl.